So, You Think You Know Crowdsourcing? | Tech Mahindra

So, You Think You Know Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is easily one of the most popular terms in digital space, but it may be a surprise to know that the concept has been around for over a millennium. In 1714, the British government launched the “Longitude Prize” for someone who could develop a reliable method of calculating the longitude of a vessel while at sea. Ever since, there have been numerous examples of successful crowdsourcing stories, for example, NASA putting a call out across the globe to come up with a solution for an in-suit waste management system for astronauts. Another great example would be Harvard tapping into a crowd of data scientists to develop an automatic lung tumor delineation algorithm.

Crowdsourcing is a highly acclaimed concept that helps like-minded individuals, firms, businesses, and enterprises to come together and encourage forward-thinking as a community. It’s a vast topic where you can also see super impressive innovations that have left their mark in various industries.

I was honored to join industry leaders, Bharath Vasudevan, Chief Capability Officer, Tech Mahindra BPS, and Dhananjay Deshmukh, Vice President, Crowdsourcing Tech Mahindra BPS, for interesting discussion during around crowdsourcing.

The goal for our discussion, 'So You Think You Know Crowdsourcing?', was to educate others on the concept of crowdsourcing by the three of us crowdsourcing enthusiasts. It also served as an opportunity to bust some of the myths lingering about the topic.

Ideation is the Best Use of Crowd

We talked about some of our favorite examples of crowdsourcing and Bharath shared about the design competition by a leading manufacturer in the aerospace industry, “The sheer ability to get inputs on multiple dimensions from a diverse set of sources in a very quick span of time is absolutely phenomenal.” Before manufacturing the said airliner, the company used crowdsourcing to create the design; engineers from 100 different companies crowdsourced and co-opted into the design process. It provided the technology for design and simulation as well as the collaboration mechanisms while the crowd did the design, which shortened the design cycle by a full year with the crowd designing around 35% of the new aircraft.

Understanding the Risk Vs Reward

Organizations’ biggest fears about crowdsourcing are access to the environment, IP, and the crowdsourcing journey. This combined with the fear of something going wrong, losing control, and being replaced can prove to be some of the biggest hurdles when it comes to leveraging the crowd. What companies need is to understand that crowdsourcing is not here to hinder projects but to enhance them.

"One of the most important examples of leveraging crowdsourcing to your advantage is the acquisition of data and then annotating the data to get the best outcome. This can be compared to a student completing their homework with the help of Wikipedia and other similar sites. Crowdsourcing, to put it simply, is just like this," explains Dhananjay.

To enable crowdsourcing at scale and allow organizations focused on generating AI-powered solutions to tap into the power of crowd, Tech Mahindra has introduced Populii – a crowdsourcing platform of the future.

Populii – Leveraging the Power of Crowd

With Populii, Tech Mahindra’s goal is to create a world of opportunities for jobseekers around content validation, data labeling, third-party surveys, human judgment work, ad relevance, and more with industry-leading companies. Populii is a crowdsourcing platform that connects gig workers with companies building datasets for AI solutions through microjobs. Building AI solutions is neither easy nor cheap, a scenario that has evidently fueled the gig work culture. To offer a far-reaching and efficient solution to both AI-driven organizations and gig workers, Tech Mahindra has developed Populii – a solution that uses customizable workflows to cater to client-specific requirements. It allows collecting and tracking data across multiple media types such as text, video, image, and speech in 80+ languages.

Here are some key points about Populii:

  • Populii is based on multitenant architecture and can be ported to all major clouds.
  • It allows working with managed and unmanaged crowds.
  • Populii prioritizes safety, security, and reliability with zero compromise on data integrity.
  • Trust and fair pay are the fundamentals of Populii with a support system for users across multiple channels.
  • It provides the opportunity to get qualified and work on multiple tasks.
  • Training sets available before the qualification for a project is a mandatory step to ensure the highest quality.  

With Populli, businesses have experienced up to 50% reduction in annotation cost and up to 500% gain in annotation productivity. Moreover, Populii promises more than 95% quality on average across all engagements as well as the ability to hire and retain multilingual resources.

Do listen to our insightful Tech Talk discussion about crowdsourcing and the role of Populii in enhancing it

About the Author
Jessie D’Amato Ford
Jessie D’Amato Ford
Head of Community, Populii, Tech Mahindra BPS

Jessie D'Amato Ford brings 18 years of global leadership experience in community development, program management, event coordination, and marketing, with a focus on driving growth and fostering open innovation. With expertise in crowdsourcing and a certification in Open Innovation from Harvard, Jessie combines technical prowess with strategic thinking and empathy to make a tangible impact.